Thursday, January 27, 2011

Poor use of mosquitoes nets bad for anti-malaria campaign

Mosquito nets used to fence a kitchen garden.
The fight to stop malaria which kills children under the age of five and pregnant women who are at a  higher risk, is at a risk of failing because of poor use of mosquito nets distributed by the US president initiative, Governments and other NGOs.

Since the use of aerosol sprays are environmental villains, drainage of wetlands being unattainable, the use of treated nets is a safe alternative though it is going to waste.

Equally the rigorous campaigns by artists like Yvonne Chaka Chaka from South Africa and spraying of homes may go to waste if citizens won’t change their attitude on proper net use.

Sadly treated nets meant to fight this deadly disease are not being used regularly with some used as fence in kitchen gardening, as fishing nets or tailored for home decoration.

The main reason was the one child per net which was not viable as many children share beds with their siblings or their parents making other ‘idle’ nets to go to waste.

The government and donors should embark on using communication experts and social marketing to reverse this trend which not only usurp effort to fight malaria but also affects the economy as sick people are less reproductive.

Published on Daily Nation Friday 29th January 2011

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